Language Resident Name: Miki Saigo

Day and Date: September 11, 2019

Language and Level: Intermediate Japanese

Class theme/topics discussed:

Folk tales and superstitions/customs in Japan

Goal of the class:

  • Become familiar with Japanese folk tales, superstitions and customs

How did you structure the class?

  • Warm-up: Greeting and announcements
    – Thomas Mann House Tour & Screening, Sep. 21st
    – Language Partners
    – Tell unregistered students to register
  • Activity I: Japanese folk tale ‘Urashima Taro’
    In this activity, I use a 3.5-minute YouTube video that narrates a Japanese folk tale called ‘Urashima Taro’ along with visual images:

Before we watch the video, I read the vocabulary list in Handout and explain what they are, using the drawings beside the list. Then, we watch the first three minutes of the video until I stop for comprehension check. I ask students to complete the Plot in Handout. After we summarize the story together, I ask what they think is going to happen next and what would they do if they were in the same situation.
Finally, we watch the rest of the video and discuss what the lesson of the story is.

  • Activity II: Superstitions in Japan
    Students make groups of three and I give each group a set of cards (See the attached file). Each card describes a famous superstition in Japan with a picture. Students have to guess if the superstitions on the cards are something they should or should not do in terms of good fortune/manner. After they separate the cards into do’s and don’ts, I give them the correct answers and explain.
    I also ask students if they have superstitions in their cultures.
  • Activity III: Cultural shocks
    I start with some examples of cultural shocks I have encountered since I arrived in the US (e.g. skateboard and scooters). Considering that not all students have traveled abroad a lot, I also add that different customs can be found in your neighbors, giving an example of my friend with weird habits. I ask students to discuss in groups and share some of the most interesting ones with the class.

What technology, media or props did you use?

  • PowerPoint
  • YouTube video
  • Handout
  • Picture cards

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

  • I told students to look up or ask me if they could not understand the words on the cards in Activity II: Superstitions, but in fact, they could figure out from the pictures. Having visual support worked well.
  • Students voluntarily mentioned many superstitions and cultural differences they know.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

  • I think this class went really well.

Picture cards: